Dying hand in hand Euthanasia as a couple is becoming

Dying hand in hand: “Euthanasia as a couple” is becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands

A former Dutch prime minister and his wife reportedly breathed their last at the same time last Monday after both sought medical assistance to leave together as they were dying, a growing trend in the Netherlands.

Former Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his “beloved” wife Eugenie are said to have died “hand in hand” in his hometown of Nijmegen in the Netherlands after both were given the green light for medical assistance in dying, the organization he founded announced on Friday Rights Forum reported The Guardian.

The death of the couple, both 93, is nonetheless part of a growing trend toward duo euthanasia in the Netherlands, where medical assistance in dying has been legalized under strict conditions since 2002.

In order to access this benefit, applicants must, in particular, demonstrate individually that they are enduring unbearable suffering, have no prospect of relief and that the desire to die is independent and long-standing. A second specialist must also validate everything.

“But it doesn't happen very often because it's not an easy path,” as couples have to be assessed individually and meet all the strict requirements before they can proceed, said Fransien van ter Beek, president of the Pro Foundation. -NVVE euthanasia.

Still, according to The Guardian, since 2020, rare requests for couple euthanasia have virtually doubled, from 26 this year to 32 in 2021 and then to 58 in 2022.

“Interest is increasing, but it remains rare. “It is pure coincidence that two people are suffering unbearably at the same time and have no hope of relief… and that they both want euthanasia,” Elke Swart, spokeswoman for the Expertise Center Euthanasia, told the British media.